As we prepare for the busiest travel season of the year, an overwhelming majority of you have contacted my office with concerns over the new invasive security measures at our airports. I share your concerns and in my opinion, this is a violation of your Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.
We all understand that the security of Americans is paramount. Unfortunately, history has shown that people have always given up personal liberties in the name of security. However, these new TSA measures tip the scales of reasonableness and cross the line into unreasonable, invasive, embarrassing and potentially unsafe methods.
We are a nation of innovators. Surely we can devise alternative methods of screening that are at once safe, reasonable and constitutional. The current methods should not be our only solution. Those wishing us harm have proven that their methods are constantly changing. The
Click above to view my speech about full body scanners on the House floor
current procedure is disruptive and creates an atmosphere of hostility toward travelers. It is yet another example of how terrorists will continue to affect our lifestyle and the result is more government control of our lives.
Now some reports indicate these new machines may not be as reliable as initially promoted. I have asked Attorney General Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to rethink this whole procedure and come up with a better idea.
No American, especially our children, should have to submit to an invasive pat-down and virtual strip search without reasonable suspicion in order to board an aircraft, particularly when airfare is such a vital component to commercial activity in the United States. Holiday travel is hectic enough without the federal government making it worse.
Again, safety is, and should always be, the number one priority. But, there are better ways to achieve the highest quality of both. We must balance individual privacy and security. They are not mutually exclusive.